Making Of The Iskcon Kolkata Rath This Year. Every year one of…
Making Of The Iskcon Kolkata Rath This Year.
Every year one of the biggest Rathyatras of Kolkata is organised by ISKCON, with three towering colourful chariots pulled by thousands of devotees along city streets. What we see through the glimpse of this festival on Kolkata streets is not just a religious display of tradition, but a consciousness at a higher level, of harmony and peace. Incidentally, the making of these colourful chariots that are at the centre of this fervour need months to be hauled and decorated. Traditionally, the work begins on Akshay Tritiya. Unlike Puri, Kolkata’s ISKCON rath is a permanent structure, but they are re-decorated, repaired and overhauled months before the actual Rath Yatra.
On the auspicious occasion of Akshay Tritiya, three logs of Soura wood are consecrated and the carpenters, who make the three chariots for rath yatra, begin their work after a series of rituals and special ceremonies known as Ratha Anukula. One experiences almost a similar event at Puri, home to Jagannath Dev. “The three 12ft logs of soura katha are brought to the ratha khala area near Jagannath temple, where construction of chariots start after getting the garland of permission or aagyan mala from the deities of the temple, followed by special rituals conducted by temple priests,” says Laxmidhar Pujapanda, information officer of the Jagannath temple.
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